Early signs of MS

MS can cause a wide range of symptoms, and there is no definitive list of early signs. What could be a first symptom for one person may never be experienced by another.

People can have different symptoms at different times and, although some are very common, there is no typical pattern that applies to everyone.

Man behind glass partially covered by reflection

A problem with vision - known as optic neuritis - is one of the more obvious early symptoms, but this is often because this is a more 'concrete' symptom as opposed to 'vague' neurological symptoms like numbness or tingling. You shouldn't assume that these symptoms are a sign of MS - not everyone who experiences them will go on to get an MS diagnosis.

Are my symptoms MS?

If you have searched for symptoms online, or you know someone with MS, it may be uppermost in your mind. But many symptoms of MS can also be symptoms of other conditions or ailments.

Only a neurologist can diagnose MS. If your GP thinks your symptoms need further investigation, they will refer you to a specialist. It's best to make an appointment with your GP about any symptom that worries you.

Sometimes people describe these worries as 'Limboland' where they don't have a diagnosis of anything but they are experiencing symptoms. For more on this, see the Before a diagnosis section.  

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Page last updated: 16 Dec 2013

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